Objective: The present study was conducted to determine the profile and preferences of the recently diagnosed cancer patients at the Istanbul University (I.U.) Oncology Institute. Material and Methods: The hospital's patient registration system and a questionnaire were used to collect data on 9306 patients. Patients who presented to the I.U. Oncology Institute from 2001 to 2003 were investigated for sex, age, social security, education levels and distances traveled to the I.U. Oncology Institute. Results: Male/female ratio was 1.01 in 2001, 1.05 in 2002 and 1.11 in 2003, respectively. The five most frequent cancer types were breast (36.7%), gastrointestinal tract (15.2%), genital system (14.9%), respiratory (6.6%) and lymphoid system (5.6%) cancers for females, and the respiratory system (31.7%), gastrointestinal system (20.6%), genital system (10.7%), lymphoid system (6.6%) and oral cavity (5.4%) for males. Smokers were 68.5% for males and 27.0% for females. Overall, 79.8% of cancer patients were living in Istanbul, 20% were coming from different cities in Turkey and 0.2% was foreigners. The mean distance traveled by the patients to the institute was 325 km (111-2400 km) for outsiders and 11 km (1-68 km) for residents in Istanbul; 90.3% of the patients accessed from the Marmara region followed by the Black Sea region. Conclusion: Cancer control depends on defining the number of cancer cases, the most common cancer types and the geographic spread of cancer through Turkey.